Move over Big Bang Theory, there's a new kid in town

I shall simply have to plead ignorance on this one, but I was surprised nevertheless that I hadn't seen a competing explanation of the universe quite like this before. "How can it be that I've not heard a peep about something so ostensibly groundbreaking?" I wondered. Well, I haven't yet busied myself with reading any sort of refutation of this theory, and it's even harder yet to find follow up on the massive potential of such a description of the universe as this. As it stands, however, I can't help but predict that it was unable catch a lot of traction with cosmologists, but I'm wondering if anyone out there is/was familiar with this and can provide further information?

As an aside, what do we think about this idea, metaphorical plot holes and all? Clearly it doesn't address some of the protracted and lingering complexities that the BBT does, and yet it explains other core issues that the BBT does not. My interest has been piqued, but as much as I'd love to see big bang cosmology fall to the superfluous wayside - thus silencing men like William Lane Craig momentarily - I don't think I'll get too excited just yet.

Tags: Bang, Big, Cosmology, Theory

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Please read my blog and let me know what you can make of it... http://sagargorijala.blogspot.in/

Sagar, I see a lot of learning in your blog and would need several weeks to study it.

I read the first hundred or so lines closely and agreed with much of what you say.

I browsed much more and saw ideas that I too question.

Stepping back from it a little, I wondered if Plato influenced education in your country as he influenced European and American education.

Platonic idealism influenced Roman Catholicism, Christianity, and much of Western culture. His idealism, as I understand it, holds that the ability to imagine something is evidence of its existence.

I find that idea preposterous, yet it played a part in the thinking of many whose work you question.

I accept that some mathematicians use infinity as a form of mental exercise but I see no further use for it. Similarly, occasional mental exercise is the only use I have for more than three dimensions of space.

What further plans do you have for your work?

Platonic idealism influenced Roman Catholicism, Christianity, and much of Western culture. His idealism, as I understand it, holds that the ability to imagine something is evidence of its existence.

I find that idea preposterous, yet it played a part in the thinking of many whose work you question.

Of course that's a preposterous idea and a misinterpretation of Platonic idealism.

The roots of Platonic idealism lie in arithmetic and geometry. Numbers and geometric figures are ideas everyone seems to hold in the exactly same way. Everyone appears to have the same idea of the number 3, a circle, a triangle. That convinced Plato such ideas were innate and formed a realm of ideal forms distinct from the world of sensory objects. In the dialogue called The Meno, Socrates demonstrates that such knowledge is remembered by having a slave boy answer questions on a geometric diagram. Since the slave boy was not taught geometry, Socrates concludes he must be recollecting innate ideas.

I accept that some mathematicians use infinity as a form of mental exercise but I see no further use for it. Similarly, occasional mental exercise is the only use I have for more than three dimensions of space.

Infinite processes play a crucial role in mathematics beginning with mathematical induction which provides a means for proving statements about the natural numbers and continuing through limits, infinite sequences and series, etc.

Higher dimensional spaces also occur frequently in mathematics and are even used in physics—for example, the notion of phase space. Infinite dimensional spaces such as Hilbert spaces of functions are also widely used in physics.

Dr. Clark, I didn't learn of Platonic idealism from a math text or lecture.

The context was the Inquisition, during which charging women with witchcraft was sufficient evidence to burn them and take their property.

Of course processes might continue without end, as life in a limited region might until a sun bakes it or galaxies collide. An infinite number is mental exercise.

And of course an equation with N variables can be thought of as describing an N-dimensional space. However, during my "travels" as I read Mark Twain's introduction to his Letters from the Earth or his Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven, three dimensions suffice. Fewer than three dimensions sufficed in a story I read decades ago about a point and a line.

The context was the Inquisition, during which charging women with witchcraft was sufficient evidence to burn them and take their property.

And this is somehow related to Platonic idealism?

Dr. Clark, while in college a committed Catholic told me that any statement I make, I'm able to make only because I believe it.

I asked, "If I say the moon is made of cheese, then I believe it?"

"Yes."

Amazed, I walked away.

Your math-based view of Platonic idealism is not the only possible view.

Similarly, the idealism taught in 1st- and 2nd-year college philosophy classes is not the only idealism.

Real-economic idealisms include Karl Marx's dictatorship of the proletariat and Adam Smith's regulation-free market capitalism.

Real-politic idealisms include the short-lived Thousand Year Reich, and a still-not-realized government of, by and for the people.

Your math-based view of Platonic idealism is not the only possible view.

Of course not, but it is a view based on what Plato himself wrote in The Meno and The Phaedo, the two main dialogues serving as sources for Platonic idealism.

It seems you are confusing two distinct meanings of idealism here —that of Plato, dealing with ideal forms, and the more ordinary meaning of an unrealistic point of view.

I won't take up Plato, who had so little control of his ideas that during the Inquisition, Catholicism's enforcers charged people with witchcraft and used one of his ideas to establish guilt.

Plato, who had so little control of his ideas that during the Inquisition

How was he suppose to control his ideas when he was dead for centuries.  That is like saying Darwin had no control of his ideas because of the Social Darwinism of the Nazis.

I'm about as far from being a scientist as anybody on this site -- a retired high school social studies teacher.  But I've long wondered why not a series of Big Bangs, about every trillion years or so.  Everything expands out to its absolute limit, then, like a rubber band, it's all pulled back together again.  All matter and energy compressed into the size of a dot.  (OK, or  maybe a bowling ball.)  This can't sustain, so after a millisecond (or a trillion years) it explodes, sending everything off in all directions at some great speed -- that of light, or maybe several times that.  Worlds form, galaxies spiral, solar systems do whatever solar systems do, and it goes on for a while.  Then, in a few billion years or so, it repeats.  I mean, why not?  No beginning, no end.

Jerry and Mathew, there are several possibilities.

1) The BB Theory. The Milky Way galaxy is whizzing through space relative to a place we haven't located; our sun is whizzing about the MW's center, and our earth is whizzing about the sun. (The MW and Andromeda are whizzing toward each other but let's postpone consideration of this for a moment.) With all that whizzing about, instruments on earth (or whizzing in orbits about earth) find red shift, seemingly in all directions but only as far as our instruments can see. Who knows what's happening farther than our instruments can see?

Andromeda? Since it and our MW are whizzing toward each other, if our instruments are sensitive enough some of them should find some blue shift. Questions: if we both originated in the BB, what started us whizzing toward each other? Our instruments show us many collisions out there; what started these galaxy pairs moving toward each other? These momentum changes require a lot of energy. Its origin?

2) Jerry's model. Why not a succession of bangs and crunches? When does the movement resulting from a bang slow to a stop, reverse direction and start toward a crunch? What causes the momentum loss and then its gain? (The movement of our MW and Andromeda toward each other still requires explanation.) More?

3) The Hubble Universe model. We see only what Hubble's instruments can show us. They show us gamma ray explosions; are they also BBs? Does anything lie beyond what Hubble instruments show us? The colliding galaxies -- did some of them originate outside the Hubble universe? If we were able to put instruments on Andromeda, would they show us any red and blue shifts?

A bonus: the cosmic background radiation. Some say it's an echo of the BB. Does an echo continue for 13.7 billion years if its source isn't also continuing? Oh, "echo of the BB" is a metaphor, not to be taken literally.

Whatever the explanation, I'm okay with keeping a few cosmologists publicly employed. I'm not real happy with their talking as if they have a religious truth they want to share with us.

I liked Roger Penrose's Cycles of Time.  It has big gaps, but it's a beautiful and novel way to have a cyclic universe.

Any cyclic universe model has to address the question of what happens with the Second Law of thermodynamics.  You can't have a universe that has existed forever with collapse/expansion cycles, without explaining why we don't have maximal disorder now, why the Big Bang singularity had low entropy. 

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